For a company, branding consists in the management of its brand image that it conveys and of all the commercial brands that it operates. Personal branding involves applying these methods to yourself as a brand, especially on the Internet. This can be likened to a positive and proactive e-reputation.
Create your digital showcase
Although some will qualify this promotion of oneself as relating above all to narcissism, in reality, this attitude mainly aims to improve its visibility and its attractiveness with people likely to have a concrete impact in his professional and / or personal situation. .
When you want to develop your personal branding, several factors must be taken into account and maintained: visibility, quality, authenticity or even validity. The brand image is based on distinctive elements and strong content that can include a part of story-telling that will have to be fed and varied according to opportunities. This therefore requires being particularly selective regarding the content that is broadcast.
In the case of employment, from a confidential recruitment market with little mobility 20 years ago, today we have moved to an open market in which you have to know how to put yourself forward in order to be identified and in which personal branding on the Internet plays an increasingly important role.
Be visible in the right places
With the rise of the Internet, social networks allowed the start of personal branding. Since then they continue to be the main actors. Professionals are very attentive to the image that their collaborators will bring out from their companies and individual reputations can directly affect that of a company.
From a professional point of view, Linkedin is today the social network which enjoys the greatest popularity and notoriety. Its 500 million members, mainly executives, constitute the first professional community in the world. Updating your Linkedin page and supplying it with content (recommendations, publication of articles, etc.) can be considered as the basis of personal branding.
Other professional social networks focused on niche professions, sectors or countries exist such as Dogfinance for financiers, Xing for German-speaking countries or Viadeo for French workers. Those interested in the world of startups, will register on Angelist , Euroquity or F6S , which will allow them to be visible by a large number of entrepreneurs or investors.
Some women will end up on Landit or RéZoé . Developers will highlight their skills by maintaining their Github , the collaborative platform dedicated to code, with their new scripts or by reacting regularly on Stackoverflow , the reference forum for development issues.
Freelancers will benefit from a real showcase, even business contribution, by creating a profile on a freelance platform such as Malt and / or Coder .
In some cases, it is even services with a wider audience that are to be preferred. Platforms like Medium or a CMS such as WordPress will allow you to keep a blog and to be identified as an expert on a given subject or problem. Conversely, people with a more artistic talent will turn to sites like YouTube , Dailymotion , Pinterest or Tumblr to host their visual creations and generate virality.
In short, the number of supports is not lacking and it should be considered that the inscription on several social networks, which are generally well referenced, will allow you to obtain a better position in the results of search engines, in particular Google . It is then up to you to keep them regularly updated.
While the vast majority of people will content themselves with exploiting only existing sites to make themselves known virtually, the most inspired will highlight their originality and their skills by creating a tailor-made support.
The least experienced in code will be able to create a personal site using services like Wix or WordPress, but those with more experience will go so far as to fully develop a blog or a site in their image.
A number of initiatives have made it possible for a few daring people to make themselves known, often far beyond their expectations. Robby Leonardi, a New York web designer, has noticed that his video game CV has spread much more than he hoped because its original nature has made it an ultra-viral medium.
In the same tone, Thomas Groc, whose main ambition was to join the Quicksilver company, developed his personal branding in this sense by creating a CV site solely for this purpose.
Relevant or offbeat (depending on whether the industry you work in lends itself to it), form plays a fundamental role: it must make you want to be contacted. For this purpose, the web is a wonderful tool that only knows the limits that you will set for it.
Finally, personal branding is not about one-off action. It is a self-promotion that must be maintained to be effective. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly update your professional networks and share content there, but this then involves a slightly more time-consuming process: interaction.
The more effective your personal branding, the more it will react. It is therefore important to also master this part so as not to be overwhelmed. Take the time to respond (preferably quickly) to comments that are made on your blog or following one of your posts on a social network.
Whether to thank, clarify or even deny, each sharing or reaction you get on a social network will benefit from visibility within a new network and will boost yours exponentially. It’s up to you to stay in control until the end. You have to consider that your brand image depends on your recognition of the personal branding of others.
Personal branding as a candidate
One of the stages where personal branding can turn out to be essential is typically when looking for a job. You should know that one in two recruiters admits to using the Internet to find out about a candidate before meeting them physically.
The “everything, immediately” also applies in the recruitment sector: very quickly the candidate must capture the attention and be clearly identified by a potential recruiter. The choice of support and form as mentioned above will contribute to this, but the content is also fundamental.
Basically, the choice of terms is crucial: the candidate must know how to speak the language of the headhunter. Often the latter will perform a semantic search. If the words used by the candidate are the same as those used by the hunter, his profile will stand out. Tools, such as Google Trends, allow you to know the relevance of keywords and choose the terms to appear on your profile. Very quickly the recruiter must understand who the candidate is: responsibility, techniques and perimeter are part of these fundamental elements which must be immediately and clearly identified on your profile.
Any recommendations from former colleagues or managers will only improve the credibility of the candidate. For his part, he will send invitations to all contacts likely to offer him opportunities: recruitment consultants and headhunters specializing in his sector or HR managers.
To complete this panel of recommendations, the candidate will be able to rely on peers whom he will have identified as influencers in terms of personal branding and take a model from their digital behaviors. Be careful however with regularity: a candidate with a digital behavior, who overnight would be out of step with his habits, could be interpreted as a desire to change company pushing the latter to react.
Whatever the objectives, personal branding is above all a question of skillful dosage. Coming out allows you to reach your goals more quickly, but this invariably requires a mastery of what you are undertaking. Getting noticed is important, but it has to be for the best. A poorly controlled communication can just as quickly lead to the worst and then serve you.
As with any self-respecting brand: beware of bad buzz.